What Does My Tuition Cover?

Thank you for considering piano lessons with Dawn's Piano! There are so many cognitive & emotional benefits of music study, I am sure that it will be an enriching experience for your student. This article is here to help you know what you can expect from me in your piano study, and all the things that your tuition covers. I adapted much of this list from Wendy Stevens' brochure on the ComposeCreate website, please feel free to check that out if you want to hear about piano tuition from someone other than me.

Most of the time when we think about the tuition for piano lessons, we account for the time taken to give the lessons, maybe a little of the teacher's education or experience, and probably not too much else. So I just wanted to let you know where your tuition really goes, beyond the teacher's take home pay & benefits:
  • Time in lessons - this is the obvious one. Keep reading to see what tuition covers beyond teacher compensation for time in lessons.
  • Lesson Prep - for every hour in lessons, I spend time doing prep work. Professional music journals have stated that for each hour of lesson time, you actually get 2 hours of the teacher's time.
  • Recital Cost - Venue rental, refreshments, program printing etc. Many piano studios charge a "Recital Fee" but I am not really a fan of a pay-to-play policy, so I've rolled this expense into my studio cost.
  • Festival Fees - During the school year, students are encouraged to participate in the Christmas Festival in December and in Music Progressions in the Spring. Student participation ranges from $10-$20 per student at these events. This studio pays these fees from your tuition, so there's no extra cost to you to participate.
  • Business License, Insurance & Taxes - I run my studio as a business, so just like every other business, the studio pays taxes, liability insurance, etc. 
  • Continuing Education - I am committed to bringing the best quality music education that I can. This means I am always learning too. I attend webinars, conferences, read professional publications, and pay membership into professional groups with other music educators where I can continue to get great teaching ideas & inspiration that translates to quality lessons for you.
  • Studio Expenses - This is the catch-all category that includes the pianos, tuning, iPads & other tech, printer, paper, ink, the music education apps & software we love to supplement lessons with, the equipment & software for online lessons, utilities, prizes or incentives, and all that good stuff that helps make your experience with my studio more engaging.
  • Lesson Materials - The studio fee includes all lesson books & sheet music that you get to keep, so you pay one flat fee every month for lessons with no itemized additions. Those super-cool supplemental pieces that I run copies of during lessons? The studio buys the printing rights to that sheet music. The advantage of this is that, when available, I am able to buy "Studio Licensed" music, which does cost more up front than single-user music, but I can print them over & over again without violating copyright law, making it a much better deal in the long run. And those savings get passed right on to you, keeping your tuition lower with zero itemized additions for new books or music.
  • Studio Subscriptions - The Piano Game Club & Piano Book Club are amazing monthly subscriptions I buy that send studio licensed music theory games & music books out every month. The studio also has a studio license for the Piano Maestro app, which means you can connect to the studio account from your home iPad and get all the premium content without carrying a personal subscription to the app. I am committed to giving my students a truly well-rounded music education, and these resources are excellent for that.
  • Piano Parties  - 5 times a year the studio hosts a Piano Party with a specific musical theme or topic. All students are invited to attend at no extra cost!
  • Young Composers Program - For several years, I offered a Young Composers Program for students at an additional one-time fee to cover the music notation software and audio track upload & streaming for this summer program. But as of 2018 the regular summer tuition includes this program so that ALL students will get the opportunity to compose a piece from concept to publishing & recording at no extra cost.
While this is just a quick overview of the basics, I hope this is helpful in understanding how the studio uses your tuition to make your lesson experience to bring engaging lessons to as many students as possible. If you ever have questions about the studio tuition or policies, please don't hesitate to ask!